Home south-africa #FeesMustFall Week 4 day 2 – A student’s diary

#FeesMustFall Week 4 day 2 – A student’s diary

#FeesMustFall Week 4 day 2 – A student’s diary

12 October 2016 | Naeemah Dudan | Video: Sanil Lala

Naeemah Dudan is a 2nd year Bachelor of Arts student at Wits University. She writes for Salaamedia. This is what she experienced on Tuesday, 11 October 2016.


I walked into Wits University this morning hoping to find the police gone. I was hoping for a miracle. I was hoping that they would be ashamed at shooting a religious leader. But there they stood in their unwarranted glory with their guns ready to fire.

While Wits continued the academic programme today many students who had come in hope of attending lectures were stuck in the middle of a war zone. Vice Chancellor Adam Habib has put the lives of civilians in danger. According to Shirona Patel, Wits spokesperson, the police can use whatever force they deem necessary on campus.

Today students gathered in front of the Great Hall singing while police forces roamed campus ready to arrest anyone that disrupted lectures. Protestors were angered by the intimidation of the police and threw stones at the police force.

Police used stun grenades, teargas, rubber bullets and water cannons to deter any group of students from meeting. Several medics on the scene were injured and affected by teargas. Students regrouped later in the afternoon away from police forces and sought sanctuary in the Trinity Church.

Our student leader, Fasiha Hassen speaking at a meeting said, “We know that there is an attempt to hunt down some people, to hunt down those who are ensuring that we continue the movement. We have not been able to sleep in our homes.” She said that they will continue to fight for free, decolonised, quality education and that tactics were to be discussed on how to move forward in taking the fight to government without being attacked.

Wits University has issued a statement saying that despite minor disruptions, the academic programme needs to continue. The executive management has said that they will continue to reach out to engage with students and that lectures continued without any disruptions today.

Many academics who support the movement have refused to teach under the militarisation of the campus. They are calling for the removal of the police force.




  1. The police are not there to protect any of the students……dont be fooled by that. Even bystanders were injured, so how do the police identify who is a thug, who is protesting student, and who are those not standing with the poor students who cannot afford to pay uni fees????
    If anything that is basic is respect for religious officials and places of worship. Dear Wits student, you need more educating that just the degree you are obtaining. Widen your horizon……….learn outside your blinkered view!

  2. If it was your religious leader would you have said the same thing? Places of worship are declared as a place of no security intervention. He was protecting a place of worship, a place where people go to seek sanctuary and safety. While the police that Habib gave full reign to chased students into the streets, civilians were affected by the teargas and the rubber bullets. Students that have been told the academic program is continuing have been teargassed and shot at. The falsity of 77% majority has been shown enough times. Are you proud of the police for shooting a girl in the eye? are you proud of the police for burning a girl with a stun grenade? are you proud of the police shooting at students that are fighting to learn?

  3. Excuse me? Religious buildings are known across the world as places of sanctuary. Not even in apartheid did the police dare to enter a church with the intention of hurting people. Yes Adam Habib has put the lives of civilians at risk. That church is not Wits’ property but by allowing the constant presence of the police on campus, he has led them to believe that they have free reign whenever students are involved. Again, don’t be quick to believe the lies management feeds you. It is not 77% of students who voted yes in that poll, but instead 77% of students that voted, resulting in it being less than 50%. Majority where? Understand that we all want to go back class. Those of us that voted no and chose to boycott the poll simply because the issue of free education cannot be reduced to a yes or no question. How can we go back when none of the issues we have brought up have been addressed? I see you’re quick to believe the media. You don’t see how the police repeatedly provoke students and sometimes just choose to attack for the sheer fun of it. The only one who doesn’t deserve to be in university is you If you can’t use your so called deserving brain to at least find out the truth.

  4. You talk about an innocent religious leader getting shot. So what if he’s religious? Who cares? The police had asked him to step aside, and he failed to listen to them. It was his own fault for not obeying a police officer. Adam Habib did no such thing as put innocent civilians at risk. If anything, he should be commended for ensuring that the 77% majority who would like to continue classes can. Albeit with police. The police are there to prevent, us, the students from being intimidated by the thugs who have committed arson, thrown bricks at the great hall and threatened their fellow students. I am proud of the police for ensuring that the university is protected from these thugs who don’t even deserve to be in university.


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